Great Resources to Analyze “The Gift of the Magi” Short Story


“The Gift of the Magi” is a short story, written by O. Henry (a pen name for William Sydney Porter), about a young married couple and how they deal with the challenge of buying secret Christmas gifts for each other with very little money. As a sentimental story with a moral lesson about gift-giving, it has been a popular one for adaptation, especially for presentation at Christmas time. The plot and its twist ending are well-known, and the ending is generally considered an example of comic irony.


  1. The Gift of the Magi ( Short Story)
  2. The Gift of the Magi ( Play )

The Gift of the Magi Comprehension Questions

  1. Where does Della and Jim live?
  2. What’s the meaning of window-shop?
  3. What’s Jim’s opinion about Della’s hair?
  4. Why does Jim consider himself the luckiest man in New York?
  5. What’s Jim’s treasure?
  6. What’s Dellas’s treasure?
  7. Write a short paragraph summarizing the events that took place during scene #3?
  8. Why did Della sacrifice her hair?
  9. Write a short paragraph describing what happens during scene #5 in Jim and Della’s apartment?
  10. How would you define the love that Della and Jim feel for each other?
  11. Do you think that the story has a happy ending?
  12. Find out at least five important details about the life of the author